Sunday, 25 April 2010

A four-ball duck, and almost a wicket...

Played today. Got a four-ball duck. Oh well, better than an empty Saturday...

Only 14 of us turned up from the 3rds and 4ths, so in the end it was 20 overs each, 7-a-side, with a couple from the batting side fielding to reduce the burden, and my team batted first. I was batting fifth and started off with the scorebook - a bit of a throwback to my school days. After a couple of overs a wicket fell and I handed the book over and started padding up. "What's the triangle for?" said the guy who took over the scorebook. "Byes" I said. "I just put a B..." he said. It took a long time for the next two wickets to fall, as the No 2 made a half-century and the No 3 eventually got into the 70s, not out I think but can't remember. Anyway, eventually 2 and 4 trudged back and it was my turn.

The first three balls came from Ali, who's the 3rds captain and an off-spinner who gives the ball WAY too much flight. He pitched them quite short, too, but I didn't fancy taking the risk of coming down the wicket so I decided to just wait for the ball and then hit it as hard as possible. Thankfully, I did, all three times, and I'd probably have got a couple of singles if I'd only had the wit to call for them! A lesson learned there.

Next over I was backing up nicely, and although it's a pretty basic skill I think it's worth noting when I've done something properly. The first ball was a dot, followed by two fours where I ran the first run as fast as I could before sauntering back, then a single which put me back in facing. I knew the bowler was pretty quick, but I had also been told I might as well have a swing since we were running out of overs. Crucially, I'd forgotten the following wind. He came in, bowled, I did my standard backlift, picked it as being straight as an arrow and swung my bat at it. Too late though, as he totally beat me for pace and middle stump went clunk. Ah well, another lesson learnt...

In the time it took me to walk to the pavilion toilets and back the allotted overs ran out and we took to the field. I was pretty surprised how much I enjoyed fielding, I don't remember finding it much fun at school. I was keen to be positive, walking in to each ball with palms ready, and chasing everything that came near me as fast as I could. Plenty went past me agonisingly just out of reach, but the ground was so dry and abrasive I really didn't fancy any dives or slides on it. Overall I think I aquitted myself well, and once I decided to field a bit deeper in the final overs I did cut off a few boundaries which helped to tie the batsmen up just a little. All in all I did pretty well, didn't drop anything mainly because I didn't have anything to drop, and only one ball really got past me - and even that was only because it came off another fielder with spin on and turned away from me.

I was offered a bowl with a few overs left, but didn't fancy it too much firstly since I'd had a try-out in the nets earlier and been pretty wayward, and secondly because I was offered a following wind. I did bowl the last over though, and although my bowling wasn't brilliant it was good to get some proper bowling under my belt - this was after all the first time ever (including at school) that I've bowled in a match.

My first delivery was a joke - I'd measured my run up wrong, had to improvise two more steps than usual and lost my rhythm, although I did at least throw it reasonably straight. The batsmen had been in for several overs now and had their eye in, so I wasn't surprised to be hit for four. The second ball was better, but again it went to the boundary. The third ball had some good spin on it, even though all the balls I bowled were too long - pretty much Yorker length, and Noam edged it to the keeper, who sadly let it through and gave them a single. How nice it would have been to take a wicket in my first over, but alas... Anyway, to have created a chance is enough to give me confidence. My fourth ball was dragged wide, and my final ball was also pretty wayward but was gleefully cut for the four winning runs.

So all in all my first match was pretty much what I expected. I prepared myself well, taking on plenty of fluids beforehand and remembering to apply suncream, tried my best at all times, got some good exercise and had a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon. I was in the field at one point and thought to myself "Bloody hell Mark, you're playing cricket! Actually playing! Brilliant!" I'm so looking forward to the next match, although it may be a while off just yet.

Good points: Correctly judged the line of all 4 balls faced, quick running between the wickets, positive attitude in the field, closed off boundaries towards the end, deserved a wicket in the first over I've ever bowled, fitted in ok with the rest of the guys, and all my kit did the job well.
Points for improvement: Forgot to do any visualisation exercises before my innings, forgot to call for singles, backlift too high against the quick seamer, played too attacking a shot, throwing was poor, bowling a little wayward and on too full a length, too many runs scored off my bowling.

Today's stats: (3rd XI vs 4th XI, 7-a-side, 20 overs each)
Batting: Bowled P Stacey, 0 (4bf, 0x4, 0x6, Prt 5)
Bowling: O 0.4, M 0, W 0, R 14 (4,4,1,+,4)
Fielding: Ct 0, St 0, RO 0
(Since this was only a friendly game I won't be adding these stats to my overall statistics page, which I'll reserve for competetive games only)

1 comment:

PitchVision Academy said...

I like the part at the end focusing on the positives. That's an important way to improve. Looking forward to seeing you develop.

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